Saturday, July 08, 2006

Killing Two Birds with One Stone

By Keith Fisher
Many years ago, I was a kid. I new I was a kid because I had to do what I was told by a woman who felt a certain responsibility for how I turned out. Of course I still have to do what I’m told by a woman who feels a certain responsibility for me, but the new woman has greater power.

Getting back to when I was a kid; I remember working hard in the garden and feeding the animals. Or was it working hard at getting out of work? Well, that’s another issue. We had great times as well. My friends and I would often pack a lunch in the morning and go exploring for the day. We explored the gravel pit, the old house, the canal, the sand dunes, and the turkey ranch. There were fishing trips to Utah Lake too.

Life was grand in those days but one of the most poignant memories of my kid hood was when my father sat down to read to us. He stretched out on the couch and we stretched out on top of him. In a few days he read the best book of all time.

I have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia with my eight-year-old daughter. While reading this and other books, I have learned some things about writing, about my daughter, and about me. Mostly I re-learn lessons. Like when she was two and we read the little red hen story. Oh how I wish the hen realized who gave her the seeds, the water, the farm, and who made the seeds grow.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, we all know that we must read to perfect our writing. I am trying to kill two birds with one stone. I read to my daughter and learn how other writers write. I am crossing Genre but I still learn. Oh, and the best book of all time is an obscure novel called The Ghost of Dibble Hollow by May Nickerson Wallace. I remember the story of that book. My daughter will remember what we read as well, but I hope she will remember me the way that I remember my dad. Through it all though, I will learn something.

(I pulled the book off the shelf after writing this and re-read it. My daughter wasn’t interested in it but for me it was research. I discovered that there is another way to spell cookie and Wallace used it.)


KB said...

My parents read to me too. My dad worked a lot and we didn't spend gobs of time together when I was little. But during the summer, we would go camping and every night we'd settle down around the camper and he would read us the classics: Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, etc. This is one of my most treasured memories and I'm sure one of the ones that led to be becoming a writer.

When I became a parent, I tried to do that too. I didn't think I'd been very successful until a few months ago when my now grown children were talking about books and listed off several of their favorites, thanking me for reading to them.

Thanks for reminding me of that.

Keith Fisher said...

Thank you for your comments. I was telling my Dad about this blog and he was touched that He had touched my life. It really means alot.